A blight is a disease that hurts plants and makes their leaves wither. It can also affect neighborhoods. Urban blight refers to a part of the city where things are falling apart.

Blight rhymes with bright, but it’s the opposite of sunshine; instead of making plants grow, it cripples them. The Irish Potato Famine was an example of a blight. In 1845, more than a third of the potato crops were ruined. The plants turned black and their leaves dried up and people who relied on potatoes for most of their meals also withered and experienced extreme hardship and hunger. You might want to think of it this way: a blight makes people — or plants — fight for their lives.

Definitions of blight

n any plant disease resulting in withering without rotting

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alder blight
a disease of alders caused by the woolly alder aphid (a plant louse)
apple blight, apple canker
a disease of apple trees
beet blight
a disease of beet plants
blister blight
a disease of tea plants
blister blight
a disease of Scotch pines
cane blight
a disease affecting the canes of various bush fruits (e.g., raspberries or currants)
chestnut blight, chestnut canker, chestnut-bark disease
a disease of American chestnut trees
coffee blight
a blight affecting the coffee plant
collar blight
a disease affecting the trunks of pear and apple trees
bean blight, halo blight, halo spot
a blight of bean plants
halo blight
a blight affecting the leaves of oats and other grasses
head blight
a blight of the heads of cereals
late blight
blight in which symptoms appear late in the growing season especially a disease of solanaceous plants caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans
leaf blight
any blight causing a browning and falling of the leaves of a plant
peach blight
a disease of trees bearing drupes
potato blight, potato disease, potato mildew, potato mold, potato murrain
a blight of potatoes
rim blight
a disease of tea plants
spinach blight
a disease of spinach plants
spur blight
a disease of raspberries
stem blight
a fungous blight attacking the stems of plants
stripe blight
a disease of oats
thread blight
a disease of tropical woody plants (cacao or tea or citrus)
tomato blight, tomato yellows
a disease of tomato plants
twig blight
a disease of the ends of twigs of woody plants
walnut blight
a disease of English walnut trees
celery blight
a fungous leaf spot disease of the celery plant
fire blight, pear blight
a disease blackening the leaves of pear and apple trees
wheat scab
a disease of the heads of wheat plants
leaf cast, needle blight, needle cast
a disease of conifers causing the needles to fall
Type of:
plant disease
a disease that affects plants

n a state or condition being blighted

Type of:
desolation, devastation
the state of being decayed or destroyed

v cause to suffer a blight

“Too much rain may blight the garden with mold”
Type of:
afflict, smite
cause physical pain or suffering in

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